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January Construction Starts Slip 2 Percent

Public works weakens, while nonresidential building edges up and multifamily housing rebounds

February 23, 2018
The value of new construction starts in January receded to $725.9 billion

The value of new construction starts in January receded 2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $725.9 billion, easing slightly after December’s 13% hike, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.

The nonbuilding construction sector, comprised of public works and electric utilities/gas plants, pulled back 18% after surging 45% in December, as that month was boosted by the start of the $2.3 billion I-66 Corridor Improvements Project in northern Virginia and a $992 million transmission line project in California.

At the same time, nonresidential building edged up 1% in January, supported by groundbreaking for the $1.3 billion domed stadium in Las Vegas NV that will be the new home for the NFL Oakland Raiders once construction is completed prior to the 2020 season.

Residential building climbed 7% in January, helped by a rebound for multifamily housing after three straight months of declines.

On an unadjusted basis, total construction starts in January were $52.2 billion, down 7% from the same month a year ago. On a twelve-month moving total basis, total construction starts in the twelve months ending January 2018 were up 2% from the twelve months ending January 2017.

 

Nonbuilding construction in January was $153.8 billion (annual rate), down 18% from December’s heightened amount. The public works categories as a group fell 15%, with a substantial 34% drop for highway and bridge construction which had soared 66% in December.

Nonresidential building in January was $240.8 billion (annual rate), a slight 1% rise on top of December’s 10% gain.

Residential building in January was $331.3 billion (annual rate), up 7%. Multifamily housing jumped 39%, showing renewed strength after the loss of momentum that took place during the closing months of 2017.

Click here for the complete January Dodge Data & Analytics report.

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